Yom Teruah 2013
My sincere apologies for my lack of writing over the last month but finding the balance between work, studies, and teaching is not always an easy task. As some of you are aware, I had to fly off to Italy last minute to deal with a problem of bacterial contamination. But every event is like a window into what I should say on behalf of Yahweh and over time I have learnt never to doubt the paths He sets before me. In this case it was no different. All of our science, all of our technology, all of our intelligence and self glorification that we are the masters of this world, and suddenly all is for naught as a microscopic organism, commonly found in the soil we tread upon, finds its way into the systems and essentially closes everything down as the engineers, the PHDs, the celebrated scientists scramble desperately in an effort to remove it but no one can be quite certain that it will not appear again some time in the future because we cannot unfold the mystery of how it entered in the first place. As you can see, my work is essentially a metaphor on our lives. We may think we have smooth sailing, masters of our own destiny but in reality we are nothing but dust on the wind. We are actually at the mercy of the world that surrounds us, only the delusion or perhaps illusion of control makes us think otherwise. If not for the mercy and kindness of the Lord, our lives would have been shattered beyond repair a long time ago. Many will argue with me that religion, God, and beliefs in a guiding hand are nothing but the fallacies and primitive fears of an ancient and ignorant society. Let me assure you, I am far from ignorant, I am certainly not naïve, but most of all I have seen too much in this world, exposed completely to the world of this new religion called 'science' to believe that God is not present amongst us. He surrounds us with His warmth, fills us with His breath, and comforts us with the dreams that dance before our eyes, yet many will not appreciate or see the magnificence of His world. We say that He is invisible. I say 'no!', He is highly visible. Visible in everything we see around us. Visible in the gram positive, spore generating bacteria that can shut down completely what we see as our greatest achievements. Every day He is visible, teaching us, showing us the clear path and only our own blindness, our delusions of grandeur cause us to be blind to His presence.
Hear the Sounds of the Shofar
Next week is Yom Teruah, the sounding of the rams' horns, or Rosh Hashanah, the New Year, as my rabbinical brethren prefer to call it. I suggest that for at least this year they refer to it by its proper Torahitic name of Yom Teruah and unstop their ears so they can hear the warning blasts that will be ringing in a practically deafening uproar. At the beginning of this year I wrote an article about Daniel and the countdown. I stated that this year was for lack of a better expression, the beginning of the end as we move towards whatever will happen by the time of the transition from 2016 and 2017. Listen to the rams' horns as they ring out about the civil war brewing in countries like Egypt. Hear their screeching wail as they warn about the western invasion of Syria to topple an evil and corrupt regime on behalf of rebels whom for all intent and purposes will probably be even more evil and corrupt. Let your head pound to the braying of their melodies as they screech the enemy is at the doorstep as the Palestinians sit down with the Israeli government and say, "What will you give us in exchange to a flimsy promise of peace, that has about as much substance as a strand of gossamer blowing in the winds of a hurricane?" Dance to their tune as they relay the tears of the rising tide of anti-Semitism in Europe, particularly the Scandinavian countries which are merely dismissed as isolated events though they steadily grow in their severity. Run to their steady beat as they herald the crashing of the tidal waves of an Arab Spring that is in reality the coming of a season of darkness where the entire Muslim world spins like a tornado in the upheaval of death and destruction. Cry to their melodies for they are singing a song of catastrophe and sacrifice that will reach beyond all our man-made illusions of political peace and harmony entrenched in man-made laws and secured by weapons of mass destruction. And then think back upon that single bacteria, something so minute and insignificant and how it can topple the mighty. That is what the trumpets will be saying next week but I fear that like all the years before, very few will hear the notes being played.
Next week I will blow my Shofar loud and sharply. I will stand upon my balcony, like the precipice of a mountain and let it ring out across the seas. Will you hear it? Would you listen if you did? These are the questions you must ask yourself. On that September evening you must close your eyes and concentrate and for many of you see this not as the mere beginning of another year, the same old-same old as you have grown accustomed to, but instead hear the message that is sailing across on the wind. This is the eve of the beginning. The night when the world will change and we must see that the seed has been sewn despite all our pretentions that we can control our world. We cannot, to believe otherwise is a fallacy. The same way my fellow scientists believed all their technology, high priced equipment, filters and sterilizing systems could keep a single bacteria from entering into a product. Hear it, fear it, but know that there is salvation if we adhere to all that we have been instructed to do.
Avrom Aryeh-Zuk Kahana